Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that add the most pizazz to a meal. Take basil butter: made from just five ingredients with nothing more than a food processor or by hand with a bowl and wooden spoon, this flavored butter is a great way to add depth and color to vegetables, pasta, fish or chicken.
I made basil butter for a family get-together where we served it alongside fresh corn. The leftover butter came home with me, which I rolled into a log surrounded by parchment paper and froze, making it ideal for cutting off small pieces when needed. A few days later I pulled the log out of the freezer, cut off a tablespoon-sized round and added it to my penne pasta with corn and zucchini for a finishing touch and burst of flavor.
The basil butter can be stored three days in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer and can be used as both a flavored spread and as a sauce.
Here’s the recipe:
Basil Butter – makes 1/2 pound
1 cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Food processor method: Blend the basil and garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor until finely chopped, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Add the butter and pulse until well blended then season with salt and lemon juice. Serve at room temperature or roll into a log with parchment paper and freeze.
Hand method: Mince the basil and garlic clove until very fine. Combine in a bowl with the softened butter and mix until well blended. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Serve at room temperature or roll into a log with parchment paper and freeze.